Who’s to blame when HR technology fails?

Feb 11, 2020 9:35:49 AM / by Select HR Tech

Future of work luminary Jason Averbook will deliver the Opening Keynote for the inaugural Select HR Tech conference. Author of The Ultimate Guide to a Digital Workforce Experience — Leap for a Purpose, Jason seeks to broaden executive mindset to rethink how to better design and deliver employee services that exceed the expectations of the workforce and the needs of the business.

In this video, Jeanne Achille, Chair of Select HR Tech, chats with Jason about the need for HR to think B2C versus B2B, the difference between implementing and deploying technology and the vendor blame game.

 

 

 

See Jason at Select HR Tech

TRANSCRIPT:

Jason Averbook

You know one of the fascinating things, Jeanne, that's happened in the last few years is that we've shifted from a focus on building software for HR people to building software for employees and managers.

Jeanne Achille

That sounds like a B2C message. Is that where we are going?

Jason Averbook

It’s a B2B to a B2C message. The difference is that if HR people didn't use the software in the past … guess what? We had fired them. If employees and managers don't use these tools, they aren’t going to get fired. What are they gonna do? They're gonna pick up the phone and call. And when they call our business partners are doing work that the technology should be doing. So when we think about the world we live in today, we think about high-touch digital and high-touch human. And it's really important for organizations to think through which of their capabilities that they deliver. If they want to deliver in a high-touch digital way … in which they want to deliver in a high-touch human way.

Jeanne Achille

So when you're talking about high-touch … are we really talking about what we can successfully automate in terms of those processes?

Jason Averbook

Not necessarily automate but high-touch is all dependent … one of the other things that's really important about the B2C trend or switch is how you feel. Okay.

Jeanne Achille

So in terms of the emotional connection?

Jason Averbook

How I'm making the person feel. It's the fact that when I'm going through a process . .  if I'm on Amazon I buy something.  You know I buy something, I click Buy. Okay, how do I feel? I feel okay, good. But then when it shows up and it's exactly what I ordered and it's great I feel awesome! Right? If I click buy, I feel good. But then all of a sudden if what I get is not what I ordered, all of the sudden the experience and how I feel goes way down. So in the past we've been thinking about are people going live. We've been thinking about our people using software. What we're thinking about now when we think about employees is how are people feeling as they're going through journeys. Not processes, but journeys. How are they feeling during the journey? And if they feel bad, they are like people …  like my kids who are 15 and 12, who download an app from the App Store … if they don't like it what do they do? They delete it. How often do they go back?  Never. So when I deploy software for the first time to a bunch of employees. If those employees don't see value or it doesn't make them feel good, what do they do? They abandon and they call. So I've just spent all this money, all this time on technology and guess what? My people aren't using it. And guess who gets blamed? The vendor. And it's wrong.

Jeanne Achille

And HR. Because if HR has rolled it out, you know the blames got to be someplace.

Jason Averbook

Usually and unfortunately, it’s on the vendor and that's it

Jeanne Achille

You think so?

Jason Averbook

Yeah, but it shouldn't be. It's our fault. Because we're implementing, we're not deploying. And that's one of the things that I hope to get across at this event.

Jeanne Achille

Tell me what you mean by that.

See Jason at Select HR Tech

Jason Averbook

So implementation is technology. Deployment is thinking about the impact that technology has  …

Jeanne Achille

so the entire continuum

Jason Averbook

…of the whole organization. So I always talk about adaptation. So an organization has to adapt before employees adopt.

Jeanne Achille

Okay.

Jason Averbook

And we can't just push out and hope that people adopt. If all of a sudden my business partner still say “oh don't worry about using the technology, I'll do it for you.” It defeats the purpose. So I have to adapt the organization and adapt the organization's thinking so that my employees will adopt. And I have to think about how do I deliver tools in the flow of how employees work as our good friend Josh Bersin would say. So that we think about what we're actually delivering to them in their natural flow. So I don't have to go log into a tool and go to self-service. I don't have to go log into a tool and go to another self-service. And I don't go to a portal which looks like a link farm of just a bunch of links.

Jeanne Achille

Isn’t that awful? It’s a terrible experience.

Jason Averbook

It's 2020 outside of work. What year is it inside of work? There's no excuse. There's no excuse for what we've done. We've disrespected the year we live in. And our kids who are entering the workforce are paying the price.

Jeanne Achille

Sure.

Jason Averbook

They don't know what a phonebook is. They don't want to search through a portal and get 958 responses. I mean that's making it really hard for them to be great employees.

Jeanne Achille

Well it's also such an unnatural experience. Because they are the digital generation. So all of a sudden we're taking them back to the 1990s and they weren't even born then.

Jason Averbook

Right, they are digital natives.  They don't know it. So company's adapting to getting employees to adopt is really really key. And then the other thing that is really important is there's a big difference between technology transitions and digital transformations.

Jeanne Achille

Explain what you mean.

Jason Averbook

So we talked about the decades that we've been in the industry. I started in the mainframe era.

Jeanne Achille

Yeah I did too.

Jason Averbook

So, I've gone from mainframe to DOS. And there is people in this room here that have no idea what we are talking about. Mainframe to DOS to Windows to client-server to web.

Jeanne Achille

And we were we were gleeful when we moved to client-server. Remember that was like hot stuff way back when.

Jason Averbook

But we've been measuring the wrong thing. We've been measuring whether or not we've gone from DOS to Windows. We've been measuring whether we've gone from Windows to client-server. That's not the measurement. That's a technology transition. All I'm doing is moving the same old way of working from one piece of technology to another. Transformation is really changing the way that work gets done. And if I've switched my audience from a B2B to a B2C focus I have to change the model in which I do work.  That's where organizations have a huge opportunity. Because HR organizations have to realize that you can't switch your audience without switching how you operate as an HR function. And to think that the technology alone can do that …

Jeanne Achille

It’s unfair.

Jason Averbook

It’s unfair. It’s unfair to the vendors. Like when people say let's roll out self-service, then no one uses it. It's not because the technology is bad. It's because it's not deployed in a way where they see the value to them in using. And that's a message that HR has to get better at is marketing the value of these tools to the workforce instead of marketing the value of these tools to their department.

Jeanne Achille

It's an excellent point. There is so much more than we could talk about but I know we're tight on time today. Everyone who wants to hear more about this particular topic as well as participate in master classes and facilitated workshops and meet with many of our industry experts, they need to register for Select HR Tech and join us in Las Vegas June 9 through the 11. SelectHRTech.com. Thank you.

Jason Averbook

Look forward to being there. Thank you.

 

See Jason at Select HR Tech

 

 

Topics: Jason Averbook, hr technology experts, Jeanne Achille, Select HR Tech Keynote

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